Belgian Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen fastest in Friday practice

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen topped the second Belgian Grand Prix free practice session, outpacing Formula 1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 0.168 seconds

Belgian Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen fastest in Friday practice

Hamilton initially had the advantage for Mercedes on the first runs, setting a best time of 1m44.369s on medium-compound Pirellis to go fastest.

But he was only 0.031s faster than Raikkonen, who used soft tyres, and things reversed when drivers moved on to their qualifying simulation runs.

Raikkonen was the first of the frontrunners to head out on the supersoft Pirellis, banging in a lap of 1m43.555s just over half and hour into the session.

Two minutes later, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas slotted into second. But Hamilton was already on his quick lap and reclaimed second place moments later with a time of 1m43.523s.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was forced to abort his first push lap thanks to a moment at the Stavelot right-hander that eliminated any chance he had of challenging for top spot.

Although Vettel improved on his second and third quick laps to work down to a 1m44.046s, he ended up fifth behind the fourth-placed Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who lapped 0.691s off the pace.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, just over two-tenths behind Verstappen, after sitting out most of the morning session with an injector problem.

Racing Point Force India driver Sergio Perez was best of the rest in seventh place, and was one of the later drivers to head out on supersofts after a 21-minute stay in the pits - with only the McLaren drivers bolting on the fastest tyre compound after him.

Perez's lap of 1m44.662s was 1.308s off the best time but gave him a massive advantage of eight-tenths of a second ahead of the rest of the midfield, headed by Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr.

Sauber duo Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc set their best times moments apart to secure ninth and 10th, with less than a tenth of a second separating the pair.

Nico Hulkenberg was 11th fastest, but did not use the new-specification floor he ran in first practice as the part was given to Sainz for this session.

Haas pairing Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were 12th and 14th quickest, sandwiching the second Force India of Esteban Ocon - who only completed one lap on his first set of tyres thanks to a left-rear puncture.

Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 15 for Toro Rosso just ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso, who posted his best lap with 35 minutes remaining.

Brendon Hartley, in the second Toro Rosso, was 17th, followed by Williams pairing Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

Stoffel Vandoorne was slowest for McLaren, with a lengthy stay in the pits following an initial run during which he described the car as "undriveable" ahead of a promised floor change.

He was the last driver to set his best time, but it was 0.026s slower than Stroll and moved him no further up the timesheets than his earlier pace on medium-compound Pirellis.

FP2 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m43.355s - 29
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m43.523s 0.168s 28
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m43.803s 0.448s 29
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m44.046s 0.691s 25
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m44.129s 0.774s 31
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m44.250s 0.895s 31
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m44.662s 1.307s 27
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m45.481s 2.126s 29
9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m45.537s 2.182s 24
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m45.622s 2.267s 25
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m45.753s 2.398s 28
12 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m45.817s 2.462s 29
13 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m45.935s 2.580s 24
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m46.078s 2.723s 29
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m46.080s 2.725s 33
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m46.153s 2.798s 28
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m46.337s 2.982s 35
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m46.451s 3.096s 35
19 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m46.470s 3.115s 34
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m46.496s 3.141s 25

shares
comments
Rival Formula 1 teams allow Force India to keep prize money

Previous article

Rival Formula 1 teams allow Force India to keep prize money

Next article

Robert Kubica ready to race in F1 as Williams shot looms

Robert Kubica ready to race in F1 as Williams shot looms
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Edd Straw
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021